When Nations Despise God!
When God, through a series of dramatic miracles, delivered the ancient Israelites from their captivity in Egypt, Moses warned them to “take heed to yourself… lest you forget the things your eyes have seen… and act corruptly… and do evil in the sight of the Lord… to provoke Him to anger… Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments… if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods… you shall surely perish” (Deuteronomy 4:9, 25; 8:11–19).
God gave the Israelites His laws so they could be an example to the world (Deuteronomy 4:6–8). He entered into a covenant with Israel—a covenant with very simple terms. Obedience to God’s laws would bring blessings; disobedience to His instructions would bring serious consequences (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28).
Yet the Israelites turned away from God and ignored His laws; they “despised the word of the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 5:24). As a result, they were conquered by their enemies and carried away into captivity in Assyria and Babylon. The sad lesson of history is that God’s chosen people, intended to be a light to the world, despised their special calling, and they paid a heavy price—defeat and humiliation at the hands of foreign enemies.
During the 1800s, Western European intellectuals began to doubt, ignore and even deride Scripture. These scholars—ironically the descendants of the ancient Israelites whose Scripture they mocked—were in particular nurtured by two ideas. One was biologist Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which postulated that human beings were not created in the image of God, but rather evolved from “lower” organisms by natural means. The other was philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s confident assertions that God was dead, the Bible a myth, and Christianity no longer a viable belief system.
The seeds planted by these secular atheists have sprouted anew in our present generation. In Britain and the United States, militant atheists are publishing books entitled The God Delusion, God Is Not Great, The End of Faith and DVDs such as The God Who Wasn’t There—publications thatvigorously trash the Christian faith and the God of the Bible.
In America, a nation founded on the principle of freedom of religion, we now find organizations like “Freedom from Religion” that actively attempt to outlaw any expression of the Christian religion in public. Although the Bible clearly condemns homosexuality, labeling it a sin (Leviticus 18:22; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10), many leaders in Western nations are strongly promoting homosexual conduct as a healthy “alternative lifestyle”—ignoring many medical and psychological studies warning of its potentially dangerous consequences.
The Bible states plainly that God designed marriage to be between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24). Yet “progressive” politicians—and even liberal theologians—are advocating the legalization of same-sex marriage, openly ignoring God’s scriptural instructions. An Australian Member of Parliament promoting same-sex marriage recently asserted that the law defining marriage as between a man and a woman “was written by politicians and lawyers in ink not stone”—a mocking reference to the Ten Commandments (Sky News, “MPs to Delay Gay Marriage Vote,”June 18, 2012). In the U.S., the Obama administration has refused to enforce an act of Congress that defines traditional marriage between a man and a woman, rejecting it because they say it “discriminates” against same-sex couples.
Marriage is also under attack on other fronts. The Bible clearly states that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), yet lawyers have created “no fault” divorces to facilitate the dissolution of marriages. Long-accepted standards of moral behavior are crumbling in Western so-called “Christian” nations. Scripture labels lying, stealing, adultery, fornication and drunkenness as sinful actions, yet these behaviors are widespread among millions who no longer regard the word of God as authoritative.
Nations where the descendants of God’s chosen people reside are again turning away from God and despising His word, as Bible prophecies have long foretold would happen! The Apostle Paul warned that “the last days” would be characterized by arrogant “blasphemers” who would despise the word of God, and the Apostle Peter predicted that “scoffers” would arise who would mock the promises recorded in Scripture (2 Timothy 3:1–5; 2 Peter 3:1–7). The prophet Isaiah warned that the time would come when the leaders of the Israelite peoples would “call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). These prophecies accurately describe what is happening today!
More than 3,000 years ago, Moses issued a prophetic warning to the Israelites: “For I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days” (Deuteronomy 31:29). God warned the children of Israel, “if you do not obey Me… and if you despise My statutes… I will break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:14–19). The punishments God will bring on His disobedient people will include: terror, wasting disease, livestock plagues, drought, famine, natural disasters, exploitation by other nations and conquest by foreign powers. These catastrophes are beginning to occur with increasing frequency in modern Israelite nations today!
The prophet Jeremiah issued a similar warning about conditions that will arise in Israelite nations at the end of the age—just before the return of Jesus Christ. He described it as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). Jacob had twelve sons who became the ancestors of the modern Israelite nations of today (to learn more, request your free copy of our informative booklet, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy). Jeremiah described end-time Israelite peoples as sick nations filled with evil practices, and he stated: “In the latter days you will consider it”—meaning that they would understand this prophecy before the end of the age (Jeremiah 30:24).
Before Moses died, he warned the Israelites that when their punishment came, they would “perish quickly” (Deuteronomy 28:20). This same theme—the sudden demise of Israelite nations that turn from God and despise His word—is echoed repeatedly by the prophets (Isaiah 9:14; 29:5; 30:13; Jeremiah 6:26; 15:8; 18:22; Hosea 10:15). Even secular scholars are now making similar statements, as they recognize the precarious position of the U.S.—for now the world’s leading superpower. Harvard professor Niall Ferguson has warned of the increasing prospect of the “sudden collapse” of America’s empire, and that this could happen “in the next five years” (“Historian Warns of Sudden Collapse of American ‘Empire’,” Aspen Daily News, July 6, 2010). Unless the modern descendants of ancient Israel are willing to repent and learn from history, those who have chosen to despise God will experience increasingly severe consequences.